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Financial Aid Options

We want to invest in your child's future.

Parents: Don't assume that a private school education is beyond your family's means.

We offer two sources of financial aid. Option 1 is a Pennsylvania State/taxpayer-funded program with specific income parameters. Option 2 is discretionary funding built in to the school's operating budget. Families may qualify for both or one of these sources of financial aid.  

OPTION 1: Pennsylvania EITC/OSTC Program Qualifications for Family Eligibility
  • Family with 1 Child: Household income equal or below $100,608  
  • Family with 2 Children: Household income equal or below $116,216
  • Family with 3 Children: Household income equal or below $131,824
  • Family with 4 Children:  Household income equal or below $147,432
Option 2: Financial aid funds available through generous donors and other programs for those who do not qualify for the PA EITC/OSTC Program.

 

FAQ Financial Aid

How is need determined?

Families are asked to complete a Parents' Financial Statement (PFS) via the School and Student Services for Financial Aid (SSS) website. This online form asks for information concerning number of children in tuition-charging schools, debt, living expenses, care for an elderly parent, medical expenses, income, savings, investments and home equity. Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary uses the SSS analysis in addition to other factors considered by the Financial Aid Committee when making decisions regarding financial assistance.

The calculation of a family’s ability to pay, includes the premise that a child's education is a budgetary priority.  The Financial Aid Committee of Gwynedd-Mercy Academy Elementary makes decisions based on the assumption that the responsibility for financing education rests primarily on the family to the extent that they are able. Families are expected to make choices that indicate that a private education is a budgetary priority in their household, throughout their child’s enrollment at Gwynedd-Mercy.  The availability of financial aid funds is also a factor in decision-making. 

Is there an income cut-off?

Each family is unique. There are many factors which can impact demonstrated need outside of income.  Our Financial Aid Committee makes a personalized assessment of each application. 

What if I am divorced, separated or never married?

It is our belief that both parents are responsible for contributing toward the educational costs of their children. Accordingly, both parents/guardians are required to complete the financial assistance application (if living in separate households) and provide required documents. Exceptions are rare. No financial information will be shared by the School with the other parent in the case of separate applications. If you have questions, please contact Bethanne Connolly at 215-646-4916.

Is the privacy of my financial information protected?

All financial information is strictly safeguarded. Only those who are directly responsible for determining need will have access to your information.

Will the amount of financial aid my family receives be the same year after year?

Provided your financial situation does not substantially change, you can expect approximately the same level of aid each year. Because financial aid decisions are reviewed each year, families receiving aid must submit a complete financial aid application each year, establishing need for the next academic year.

How do I apply for Financial aid?

In order to provide an objective and fair analysis, GMA works with School and Student Service for Financial Aid (SSS), a service of the National Association of Independent Schools that determines a family's ability to pay school costs. SSS provides the results of their analysis as a recommendation of a family's ability to contribute towards an independent school education.

All financial data is strictly confidential; only members of the Financial Aid Committee have access to a family's information.

  • Current families must complete a School and Student Services (SSS) application no later than November 30, 2020.
  • Prospective families should complete a School and Student Services (SSS) application in conjunction with a child's application process. SSS accepts applications beginning October 1 using estimated data from the prior year's federal tax return or current tax year returns beginning in January. GMA responds to completed SSS applications in approximately two weeks. All financial aid awards are conditional upon confirmation of current tax return data with SSS.

Parents must apply online with SSS (GMA's School Code is 905186).

The following financial supporting documents must be uploaded to SSS:

  • 2017 and 2018 Federal Tax Return (1040 with all schedules)
  • 2018 and 2019 - W-2 Statements for each parent/guardian
  • Most recent mortgage or rental statement
  • For Business Owners, 2017 and 2018 completed K-1 Statements

When will families be notified of the results of their SSS application?

Current families will be informed of any award granted by the Financial Aid Committee prior to the re-enrollment period. Prospective families will be informed approximately two weeks after the completion of the of the SSS forms.

How much assistance can families receive?

The amount of financial aid a family can receive depends on several factors, including a family’s demonstrated financial need, the availability of financial aid funds, and the number of financial aid applications.